Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley has said a reduction in the number of road deaths since 2007 of 56% is an incredible achievement and would not have been possible without strong leadership and changes in driver behaviour.
As the provisional road casualty figures for 2012 were published today Deputy Dooley said, “I want to thank Noel Brett for his continued work as head of the Road Safety Authority, it’s Chairman Gay Byrne, the Garda Traffic Bureau and all those working on a daily basis to ensure casualties on our roads are kept as low as possible. It think it is incredible that the targets set out by the last government in the Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012 were achieved three years ahead of schedule and consistently the number of deaths on our roads is down every year.
“This is an area of public policy that failed for so many years and left hundreds of families grieving for loved ones lost on the roads every year. I am glad that we have seen stronger legislation and tougher penalties for those who break the law but more importantly these successes would not have been possible if drivers themselves had not changed their behaviour on the roads. We have proved year in and year out that reducing speed and tackling drink driving saves people’s lives and drivers have responded to that.
“It is deeply tragic that 161 people lost their lives on the roads in 2012 and many more were injured in crashes. I think this should remain to the fore of our minds as we begin a new Road Safety Strategy this year and work to reduce road deaths and injuries further. I look forward to debating and discussing this strategy in the Dáil and at the Transport Committee with Noel Brett and Gay Byrne.
Deputy Dooley concluded, “As Mr. Byrne pointed out today there is more progress we can make, more lives we can save and injuries we can prevent, as has been achieved in countries likes Sweden and the Netherlands. That will likely require more action from government in the years ahead and we will support any measures to help but most importantly if road users continue to support changes needed in their daily behaviour, more and more lives will be saved in the years ahead.”